BILLIONAIRE Blackburn brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa are understood to be eyeing up a bid for Asda.

The Euro Garages founders are said to be among several potential bidders for the 71-year-old UK supermarket giant after US owner Walmart confirmed it was in talks to sell its stake last week.

Their interest has been widely reported in the financial and retail trade press.

Any bid would be made through their holding company, the EG Group.

The Blackburn-born brothers, among the richest families in the UK with an estimated worth in excess of £1bilion, have recently been diversifying their interests from their main business involving petrol stations and forecourt convenience stores across the world.

In February 2020 they set up Monte Hotels Ltd and in September last year bought the Stanley House Hotel and Spa in Mellor.

They have invested £100million in Frontier Park business estate on the Blackburn/Hyndburn border including a Hampton by Hilton hotel and last month launched a bid to buy Australian convenience store, petrol station and refinery firm Caltex.

Their first venture was buying a petrol forecourt in Bury in 2001 before expanding across East Lancashire and creating Euro Garages.

The company – headquartered on Blackburn’s Beehive Trading Park in Haslingden Road – merged with private equity firm TDR Capital’s European Forecourt Retail Group in 2016 to create the EG Group as it moved into Europe and the US.

They face competition for Asda from US buy-out specialist Lone Star Funds and private equity firms including Apollo.

Bosses at Walmart are in early stage talks with prospective bidders after a merger deal with Sainsbury’s was blocked by competition regulators last year.

A spokesman for the EG Group declined to comment.

Although Asda’s freehold on 75 per cent of its stores is appealing to some potential investors, others have reportedly been put off by the intensity of competition in grocery.